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Us 38, Lackland 15, Welch 5, United States Air Force 3, Smith 3, Mr. Smith 3, Texas 3, San Antonio 3, Mcnally 2, Lackland Air Force Base 2, Powerpoint 2, Jessica 2, Don 2, Mti 2, Jennifer Norris 2, Norris 2, Sonny 2, Mckee 2, U.s. 2, Jennifer 1,
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  CSPAN    Tonight From Washington    News/Business. News.  

    January 23, 2013
    8:00 - 11:00pm EST  

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american mayors and strengthening anti-bounce initiatives that are already underway. since 2009, the commitment has led the justice department to more than $3.5 billion since state and local partners to byrne-jag come a grant program that keeps officers on the beat and equips them with authentic elegies. over similar. , oriented policing service for cops, to hire a programmer for the month at $5 billion to create or protect law-enforcement seeking billion dollars in our next budget. our office of safety working group has also had stronger relationships with officers across the country and building a platform for researching threats they face on a daily basis. under a groundbreaking training and technical assistance program
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called valor, were enabling officers to anticipate, to prevent and to survive violent encounters. things to initiatives like the bulletproof vest initiative program, were providing money for snap with equipment that is quite frankly saving lives. a stunner childhood task force, will bring in a variety of partners together from expanding screening and assessment of at-risk children and supporting research to help combat unacceptable levels of violent a month and directed towards nation's youth. we still question we can be proud of these to produce violent impact of the station. as you've been discussing this week and is the president has made quite clear, we cannot yet be satisfied and become complacent. when it comes to combating gun violence in ensuring the safety of our citizens and first responders, each of the leaders in this room has put the power
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and responsibility to make a powerful, positive difference. .. and i thank you as colleagues, as partners and indispensable leaders for your contributions, your service and your ongoing dedication to protecting and improving the lives of those who
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serve us. thank you all very much. [applause] >> what's the best training for a policeman? >> the best training you can get to become a really good police officer is to understand what it's all about as law enforcement. you learn how to develop intelligence information. you learn how to leverage relationships and that is the key. people in the community trust
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you. they will tell you when the things that are happening that are not yet -- so you can intervene and they will tell you all about how to go about doing it. i really have learned from most of my career from those relationships. >> now i house armed services committee hearing on allegations of sexual misconduct in the lackland air force base in texas. general mark welsh says the problem has become a cancer for the service but he is committed to eliminating misconduct in the ranks. this three-hour hearing includes testimony from victims of sexual abuse. >> the committee will come to order. good morning. thank you for joining us for the first hearing of the 113th
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congress. i think it's appropriate we began our oversight with the subject this committee has been vigilant in addressing for many years. at the same time i find it extremely disturbing that despite the collective work in congress, the department of defense come to combat the military services and the dedicated groups who advocate on the part of the victims of this heinous crime sexual assault and sexual misconduct remains a problem within our armed forces. today we meet to receive testimony on sexual misconduct by the basic training instructors at lackland air force base. the events are the most recent example of sexual assaults that have plagued the military for far too long. this tragedy with 32 instructors have been found guilty have been charged with or are still being investigated for crimes against 59 trainees begs the question, how could this have happened? how could the system and in particular the leadership that
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failed to protect the men and women who serve our nation from sexual predators who also wear the uniform? while i applaud the air force for pursuing in-depth investigations to find answers to these questions i am particularly disturbed to learn that there are was significant delay reporting the allegations to the proper authorities when they first came to light. equally troubling is that no action was taken by local leadership when the reporting delay was uncovered. this to me is unacceptable. i look forward to hearing from general walsh in general rice have the air force has addressed these issues to eliminate the possibility that sexual misconduct goes undetected in the future. make no mistake, congress shares the responsibility for preventing sexual assault in the military and assuring victims that their cases will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. over the past five years
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republicans and democrats have joined forces to put real reforms in place. we have ensured that victims of sexual assault are taken seriously provided medical care and support, and the cases are investigated and prosecuted. last year congress passed reforms on how the military tracks sexual assaults in order to paint a reliable picture of just how big the problem is. we also established a commission to take a critical look at the uniform code of military justice and make recommendations for reform to make certain that the military justice system can successfully prosecute sexual assault. however legislation is not the only answer or go commanders at every level and in every service must make eliminating sexual assault and all forms of sexual misconduct in their commands the highest of priorities. senior leaders at all levels must hold commanders accountable for aggressively pursuing allegations of sexual
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misconduct. we will accept nothing less. i understand that the air force has already made several changes to improve the safety and effectiveness of basic training. i would like to hear from our second panel if the reforms and safeguards recently put in place are sufficient. i have no doubt that there is more to be done. my visit to lackland in september renewed my belief that the young men and women who volunteer to join our armed forces are the finest in the nation. these young men and women have earned the respect of the nation. they deserve the respect from their leaders and fellow servicemembers. before i ask ranking member smith for his opening remarks i would like to remind their members that at the same time as we hold this hearing, the air force continues to prosecute the remaining cases at lackland. and military perpetrators of sexual assault are tried by court-martial, public statements by military and civilian leaders especially senior leaders about
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the guilt or innocence of alleged perpetrators can be perceived as or even -- there may be undue command influence on the outcome of the trial. that means public testimony by lackland could be used as grounds for a mistrial by defense attorneys. this is an outcome anyone wants. to that and i will give latitude to general welch in general rice answer questions to the extent that it will not prejudice ongoing criminal prosecutions. we are all committed to eradicating sexual assault in our armed forces but first we have to respect the victims need for urgent and ensured justice. mr. smith. >> thank you mr. chairman and i concur with all of your remarks and i thank you for that statement. i do have a statement which i will submit for the record to just summarize briefly here. i think general welch and general rice for being here and the leadership that they have shown on this issue and this
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very serious problem and being able to protect the men and women who serve in our military is job one. if there is not trust and of the people or serving do not trust the people who are supposed to be leading them than the entire system breaks down and sexual assault and sexual violence is a major problem throughout the military. i think that's one big point to keep in mind throughout this hearing. this is not just lack an. one. certainly this is an extreme example and one that i hope we can learn from and one that continues to need to be resolved. the cases need to be prosecuted and we need to get to the bottom of exactly what happened that this is a problem that has plagued the military for far too long and we on this committee and throughout the military needs to be addressed in order to make sure military can function as the ability we all expected to. i think the chairman for having his hearing. i do want to thank general welsh and general rice and secretary panetta and others and we have
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had many meetings the last couple of years. is apparent to me the department of defense takes this issue very seriously and is now trying to do their best to figure out what went wrong and how to fix fix i. is completely unacceptable that we have gotten to this point but at least now we are seeing the seriousness from the department of defense that i think is warranted. i also want to thank -- there too many members on this committee to thank who have taken a role in this issue and try to make sure we put the best legislation in place to make the changes necessary to protect our men and women from this type of assault and violence. i thank them for that leadership as well but going forward the critical thing is to make sure that we do much much better than we have done now, to learn what are the changes that are going to be done within the department of defense and legislation to do a better job for protecting our men and women. at the end of the day the culture needs to change. i've heard i have heard a number of members talk about this. basically when it gets to the point where if you are serving in the military you know that
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you are dependent on protecting the men and women and being out fronted protect the victims and make it clear throughout your command of this is completely unacceptable behavior that will be punished, one everybody serving in the military knows that is one the primary things that they are going to be judged on for advancements, when that cultural changes made in that family point at which i believe we will again to seriously address this issue. i hope we can learn more from this hearing today and how we get to that point and again i think the chairman and i i think the generals for being here this morning. i look forward to your testimony and the members questions. >> thank you very much. at this time without objection i ask unanimous consent that an additional statement from the senator's -- center for military readiness be included in this hearing. without objection so ordered. i want to call mr. smith's comments about general welch and
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general rice. they have been most helpful and those who have conducted the investigation, i could not -- for the seriousness they have taken this in the leadership they have brought to this issue. at this time now i understand we may have votes at any time so what i would like to do in the interest of trying to make sure that we have time to properly conduct this hearing, if we just have one vote on the rule we will not rake and we will ask the members to go vote and keep moving so that we can expedite this. we will hear from general welsh and by the time up between him and general rice. general welch. >> thank you chairman mckee and ranking member member smith and
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distinguished members of the committee for the opportunity to speak with you today. this topic is obviously a tough one but we don't have to endure the subject to appreciate the subject of being before this committee. thank you for the opportunity. general rice and i are truly honored to be here. mr. chairman with your permission i would like to start by having general rice give you an update on the incident allocations and activities conducted for basic military training investigations at lackland and i will follow that with a few servicewide things we are doing to try to follow up on activities to learn from it and do everything we can to ensure it never happens again. >> certainly. >> thank you. chairman mckee and ranking member smith and distinguished members of the house armed services committee thank you for the opportunity to provide comments on the air forces investigation into sexual misconduct by basic military training instructors at our basic military training complex as joint base san
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antonio-lackland in san antonio, texas. over the past nine months we have conducted a very deliberate and comprehensive investigation. over 550 investigators have been involved. they have conducted over 7700 interviews. we have surveyed every basic military training graduate for the last 10 years for whom we have contact information. although we have conducted a 10 year look back, the vast majority of the allegations are alleged misconduct that occurred over the past three years. during this three-year period, 855 airmen have been assigned to military training instructor duty. of this group of 855 instructors, we have completed disciplinary action for sexual misconduct against aids. we have preferred court-martial charges against another nine and 15 other instructors are under
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investigation. the allegations against these instructors range from sexual assault to the inappropriate contact with students after they graduated from basic military training and were no longer under the authority of van struck there's. at this point, 24 of the military training instructors are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. we have identified 59 victims of this criminal activity or misconduct. regardless of whether a victim or alleged victim was the victim of a sexual assault, the recipient of an inappropriate e-mail or willingly participated in an unprofessional relationship with an instructor in violation of established policy, we have offered each of them the full range of available victim support services and no victim or alleged victim has
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been charged with a policy violation or otherwise held accountable as part of this investigative process. the 32 instructors who have been disciplined or who are under investigation represent less than 4% of the instructors who have served in basic military training over the past year, three years and i believe it is important to underscore that the vast majority of our there's served with distinction in a very demanding duty assignment. that said, it is completely unacceptable to us that so many of our instructors have committed crimes or violated our policies and we clearly failed in our responsibility to maintain good order and discipline among too many of our instructors in basic military training. among the most important and fundamental responsibilities of
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come and is the requirement to maintain good order and discipline among the members of the military organization. this responsibility cannot be delegated. all of the changes we are making in basic military training are directed in one way or another in helping our commanders discharge its fundamental responsibility. although it is still very early, the evidence indicates that our efforts are making a difference. we have not had a reported incident of sexual misconduct in basic military training for the past seven months. this is not to say that we believe we are nearing the end of our work. on the contrary. we know this is not the beginning of the end, but the end of the beginning of a journey that can never and. the key to success over the next
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weeks and months and years is to sustain the intense level of focus we have devoted to this issue over the past nine months. to this end, i believe the most significant action we are taking to address this critical issue is the establishment of the recruiting, education and training oversight counsel. this counsel will include the senior leadership of my command and it will one, review the progress and effectiveness of the actions we are not implementing. two, provide an expanded perspective on future actions we will take to prevent problems from recurring. and three, advise me on strategic issues affecting airmen safety and the maidens of good order and discipline in basic military training. in short, this counsel will help us institutionalize the intense levels of locus we must sustain
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if we are to successfully defeat the threat of sexual misconduct and the basic military training environment. i look forward to your questions after general welsh's remarks. thank you. >> thank you and i completely agreed the investigations don't marked the end of anything. the air force has recommitted itself to free insuring every airmen is treated with respect. it's not a one time fix. it has to be a way of life. this collection of events in basic military training has been stunning to most of us in the air force. there's simply no excuse for it. there's no justifiable explanation and there is no way they can allow this to happen again. here for school for sexual assault is not some week -- lower the number. the goal is zero. the impact on everything from their families, their friends and the other people in their
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unit is heartwrenching. attacking his cancer is a full-time job and we are giving it our full attention. of general maggie woodward's recommendations presented to general rice at the end of her investigation 23 are fully implemented and 22 will be implemented by november of this year and the final recommendation has been separated from this particular activity. it has to do with shortening the length of basic military training as general rice is considering that under us separate review that started in a way. sonny's admonitions of applicability for the entire air force and we are working on the larger for sexual assault response and prevention program and her leadership training at every level and into investigative and legal process. since becoming chief of staff i've worked hard to express my deep concern with the issue of sexual assault and i am sure -- i shared my thoughts with. i've also shared it with every commander in our air force. they understand especially her
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senior commanders understand as ed rice and i do that the american people trust us with their greatest treasure their sons and daughters. they expect us to lead them with honor to value each of them and to treat them as if they were our own. we do not have a greater responsibility than that. every year for supervisor at every air force commander must be actively engaged in this effort. if they don't actively engage i consider it part of the problem. i met with a four-star general who knew exactly how i felt about the subject. not surprisingly they'll feel the same. ejected all 164 for air force wing commanders to come to washington d.c. in december excuse me late me late november so i could discuss this issue with them face-to-face. there's simply no room for misunderstanding as we move forward from here. secretary donnelly proved in air force wide help and welfare inspection during the first two weeks in december. the intent was to ensure we provide every airmen a work
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environment that allows them to excel and ensure each of them feels valued and is treated with respect. the detailed results of this inspection are available to your staff. finally a couple of weeks ago in my monthly letter to airmen iran force the fact that obscene and vulgar or disrespect limit just songs or so-called traditions are not part of our -- and will not be accepted as part of our culture. of these things may or may not directly relate to sexual assault they certainly do create environment more conducive to sexual harassment in a professional relations and i personally agree that both of those are leaving addict indicators for sexual assault. we have worked hard to ensure we are lined with policy initiatives from the secretary of defense and chairman of the joint chiefs of staff. we have also worked with the office of the secretary of secretary of defense to create special victims teams comprised of investigators and attorneys who have received specialized training in sexual assault
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cases. that effort has been encouraged and supported by members of this committee and i thank you for that. dikötter 24 special investigators have finished training and 60 air force attorneys have been identified and trained to serve the special victims council providing counsel providing conference and compassionate legal assistance to victims. that program goes fully into attack on the 28th of january but in fact we have are designed seven special victims counsel to victims around the air force. we continue to employ over 3100 volunteer of victim advocates and in accordance with the fy12 event -- defensively are placing fully accredited victim advocate at every installation by october 1 of this year. mr. chairman there are many other things we are attacking are doing to deal with this problem and i would be happy to discuss it during the question-and-answer period but in closing let me say i will never stop attacking this problem. we will never slow down our efforts to ensure victims receive the best is capable and most thoughtful care and advice
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possible until we can eliminate the problem and i promise every member of this committee that the united states air force leadership team will never quit working to eliminate this horrible crime from the ranks of our air force. thank you committee members for the help you have party given us in the separate and for the time standing here today. general rice and i look forward to your questions. >> thank you very much. i was just informed that we do have the vote in there will be three boats that we will have to recess and return as quickly as we can after the votes. general welsh during your confirmation hearing you testify that everyone in air force is trying to do the right thing and figure out some way of stopping sexual assault. i don't think this is only at lackland and i don't think it's only in the air force. i don't think it's only in the
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military. i think it's a societal problem that we cannot fix, a societal problem we can address this you were the air force problem and i know in talking to general dempsey and the other chiefs, they are also looking at all of the branches of the military. how are you acknowledged that what was being done at that time was not adequate to reverse the trend? what are your thoughts on how the air force can reverse the trend? do you have some specific examples other than what you have mentioned already that still need to be done? >> mr. chairman i think there are a lot of things that can be done and we need to be doing them from now until the air force quits being an institution. the biggest thing is committing to dealing with people on an individual level every day by every supervisor and commander. i don't think institutional
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directives will solve the problem. i think caring more for every airmen would solve the problem. we have tried a number programs and another training activities and educational initiatives while some have been successful and maybe hoping the problem we are certainly not reversing the trend in a dramatic way. so i believe we need to keep looking for new and different ways to approach the problem. as we find things to work we should expand on them and continue to exploit them. the special victims counsel i believe is a good example. if we can get the 30 \{#g}{^}%\percent or so of the victims who initially report is unrestricted and allow us to begin our investigation we would then step away because of concerns about a number of things. i won't go into all the details and you know the reason they decide not to participate in the prosecution but some of those are related to the way we conduct an investigation and it dies the victims the way we make them feel as they go through the followed victim care and
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preparation for trial. we have to eliminate those things and keep those victims engage in the process of finding prosecuting in removing the perpetrators as if we don't there will be additional victims. i believe they are predators that commit this crime. i don't believe everyone who commits sexual assault is a predator but there are predators and we have to find them hopefully screen them out early to develop tools to allow us to do that. if not we have to find them through indications through the people around them who know them and if they do commit a crime we have to stop them after the first one. and not allow them to continue. we also have to work hard to identify those activities that lead to bad behavior and there are a number of them hoot deal with our children all the time. are younger airmen are no different. they are involved in the same social circles into the same kind that goodies and they are the same indicators. a young man who binge binge drinks or looses control himself is going to conduct bad
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behavior. that bad behavior could result in sexual assault. let's stop the binge drinking and identify the hate. that takes a clear understanding of the issue at every level of her air force starting with the youngest airmen and officers and a require supervisors and commanders who have never quit engaging. i think that is the key mr. chairman. >> the command directed investigation initiated iu general rice found that the manning levels at lackland did not support optimum oversight during basic training. the report recommends increasing mti manning. given that the air force is drawn down military personnel and is facing continued reduced potential of sequestration, how would you feel these extra mti requirements? >> thank you mr. chairman. as i reported my response to the command directed investigation to the chief and secretary of
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the air force and talked about some of the resource requirements that would be necessary in order for us to implement fully the recommendation i am happy to say that resources were not an constrained in terms of my ability to address the issues. i ask for more mpi military training instructors and they have been authorized. we are in the process of hiring them and training them. in the meantime, we have effectively achieved the impact of having to military training instructors assigned to each flight which is the end state that they want to get to by both bringing in temporary instructors and temporary duty status and rearranging some of the staff positions and put them on a line if you will to perform military training instructor duty because we thought that was important to do now and not wait for the assignment and personnel
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process in the training process quite frankly to catch up. so we are -- have been authorized these additional provisions by the air force. quite frankly the long pole of the tent is their ability to effectively train enough instructors. we are in the process of doing that now but that will take a little bit of time for us to complete. in the meantime, i'm satisfied that we have been able to achieve the effect through other mechanisms. thank you. >> thank you. the investigation director by major general leonard packed her into the training wings response into the misconduct found that there were significant delay in reporting by senior mti's. the investigation also revealed that when the commander learned of the delay no corrective action was taken. what actions have you taken to address these failures and to raise awareness among the air force leaders of the importance of aggressively pursuing reports
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of misconduct? >> thank you mr. chairman. in this specific instance i believe you are referring to this command directed investigation. i directed a separate investigation into the delayed reporting and finds there was culpability among members of the supervisory chain in terms of informing the commander in a timely manner of an issue that the commander should have been aware of and i have held people accountable for that delay in the reporting. i did find in that instance and the commander took appropriate action initially but there were other instances that were identified in the command directed investigation and other areas that we have discovered through other means. where i was not satisfied with the actions that commanders and other leaders took in response to a reported misconduct. we have addressed that in a number of different ways.
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to and include putting in place mandatory reporting requirements such that any incident of misconduct or maltreatment must immediately be reported up the chain of command not just to the squadron commander but to the wing commander in up to the two-star commander who has overall responsibility for training within the air force. if it involves sexual misconduct the report must occur within 24 hours and the alleged offender is removed immediately from the position of either the staff position or the instructor position until we have had enough time to sort through the details of what went on and ensure it goes to an investigation fully or place that instructor back into the duty position. so partly we have handled it through this idea of having mandatory reporting procedures
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that allow us to ensure that the proper information is transmitted to the proper people at the right time in order to deal with this. i would say is secondary in the second order way that we have dealt with this has to do with the level of seniority and experience that we have placed now in the basic military training environments such that we have more senior experience to season leaders and supervisors making decisions about what constitutes infraction and what doesn't and what should be done about it. this is not an environment where we want to test or determine whether someone is a good leader, whether someone in his head supervisory experience. is a place where we bring get -- people who have demonstrated strong leadership and strong ability to supervise and a strong history of making good
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decisions. part of what you have seen in the changes we have made is to ensure we get more experienced and seasoned leaders into these positions so that when they get that information they can make better decisions. thank you. >> thank you. after ranking member smiths questions we will recess. mr. smith. >> thank you mr. chairman. appreciate it. a couple of quick questions. one of the difficulties is how do you measure success going forward? is difficult to cuss on the one hand you could say well we have fewer sexual assaults but you also don't want people to be not reporting. as you look at are you making progress here is the broader issue. what are you looking for to figure out whether or not you are moving forward and making progress to get to the point where you eliminate sexual assault within the air force? >> one of the things or i think
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we need to do is establish and maintain a clear baseline of information. in 2000 we conducted a gallup survey that gave us numbers on the incidence and prevalence of sexual assault and reporting within the air force. we are in the process of contracting of follow up survey in the 2013th survey to follow up on the initial baseline to see which direction we happen to be moving. as are reporting increasing and if so why? are the types of incidents and number of incidents changing? is the demographics of the victim changing? all of those things i think are critical to baseline or ferdon figure out what is working and what isn't working. they think the other thing that's not something we can grab ahold of and show you is the feedback we get from people within the air force. we have made a huge effort recently to start getting into a discussion at the small unit level of respect and treating each other with respect.
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the feedback we are getting from that effort is interesting because it's clear we haven't done enough in this area. people don't feel valued and that we have a certain population of air force that has been going along to get along by ignoring things that they are comfortable with in their workplace or work environments for the people who work around them whether it's mannerisms, for language, pictures hanging on the wall or whatever it might be. >> sorry to interrupt but you have to talk about what is it that is making them feel intimidated? it may surprise higher-ups what it is an understanding these and i appreciate you making that point. >> i think that is where it starts. the other thing we need to do is identified the numbers in a clear way so we can have an unemotional, logical discussion about a very emotional topic. when it comes to how are we doing in executions and
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convictions etc. and what are the tools we can use to get better? we have major disconnects between the numbers we use in the department and department of air force are numbers versus if you look at prosecutors numbers on the outside. i don't think the numbers are that far apart in my personal opinion. at based on the fact that i took the air force numbers and asked our judge advocate to use the methodology to compute our percentages for convictions and prosecutions etc.. internally when we did that we would within a percentage point of the main data that they have been what we have done to follow this to take that and i've asked to sit with their representatives and together put these numbers together so we can share with you what the numbers are relative to something that's considered a standard or a baseline in the nonmilitary world. just so we can determine where the problems really exists. we spend a lot of time focused on numbers and if the numbers are not consistent and we are
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not talking apples-to-apples it's hard to figure out where you put the most effort. for us the level of effort in the number number of resources we applies that to be focused in way that has most. be one more quick question and then we do have to run. i've briefly prosecute domestic violence cases and sometimes the victims won't come forward. can you tell me -- i think within the military certainly the broad cultural challenges we have talked about or the damages you have as you have options in terms of punishment and discipline of the things that a normal criminal justice system would not have. how are you playing -- planning on using those situations where you may not be able to prosecute because of various other things but you still know there is a problem that needs to be addressed. can you explain some of the discretion you have used within the military chain of command to change the culture and punish perpetrators to discourage this behavior? >> yes sir. let me make a general comment
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and i will add detail in the specific incidents at lackland. of the 59 incidents we are investigating 45 of those are cases couldn't prosecute under sexual assault prosecution. they're prosecuted in other professional relationships and we have the opportunity to engage or you might have a difficult time prosecuting outside the military. for a little more detail let me ask ed to expand on that. >> i think commanders have and will continue to use the entire suite of tools that they have to enforce discipline. the court-martial process using the uniform code of military justice is only one of those schools and his general welsh said in the cases we are looking at lackland we have cases where as the commander looked at all of the evidence that was available and decided a
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court-martial was not the appropriate venue to get to the right answer in terms of justice in that case so they use some of the other tools that are available to them uniquely in the military justice system. i think it's something that is not as well understood oftentimes in terms of the decisions that commanders make in terms of the venue that is used to achieve the right outcome in a case in the fact that we can use nonjudicial punishment in other forms that in many cases would have the same sanctions as you would find in a court-martial but are done in a way that does not require the same level of standards of proof that a carb -- court-martial would is a very important tool that commanders can use to enforce discipline and get to a better outcome in more cases than if they did not have that tool. >> i think that cultural norms.
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i appreciate that and i think we are going to run and vote. i will yield back. thank you mr. chairman. >> thank you. the committee will stand in recess for about 15 minutes or so. thank you very much. [inaudible conversations] >> the committee will come to order. mr. wilson. >> thank you mr. chairman and general's welsh and rice thank you for being here today. it is very uplifting to me general welsh as you are quoting air force secretary michael o'donnell he. he indicated that the air force is a family and that is the way i believe too and for me it's
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first-hand. my dad served in the flying tigers in the army air corps. i'm very grateful i have a nephew who is serving in the air force today. i served 31 years in the army guard reserve and i have four sons serving in the air force and navy today. so it is family and we want the best for our family members. we want them to achieve to their highest in fulfilling achievement in military service which to me is an opportunity. the issues you are dealing with must be addressed. i'm particularly grateful too general rice that you are ahead of the curve. your leadership by selecting major general margaret woodward to conduct the command right to investigation has been so positive and i want to thank you. i would be grateful if any of my family members could serve with you. so thank you for what you have done.
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and indeed was general woodward's report, in meeting with her i was so impressed by her determination and her confidence. she of course came through with 22 findings and the findings then directed 46 recommendations. these 46 recommendations were ways to address the problems to the rest of our military. i know that he will be implementing 45 of the 46 recommendations and from each of you have it like to get a report on what is the status of implementing these recommendations? >> thank you, sir. we have to date implemented 23 of the 46 recommendations. as you know there was one that i decided was not appropriate for this forum so we are going to implement 45 of the 46 and we have completed our implementation of 23 of them. some of the most important
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near-term actions that we have been able to complete especially as it addresses leadership and as i indicated in response to an earlier question the reporting requirements to ensure that leadership is notified in a timely manner of issues. we aren't paced to implement the remaining recommendations by november of this year. some of them require a more deliberate process for implementations such as ensuring that we get the right leaders in position through the assignment cycle instead of just pulling people in who may not be appropriate for the position. as i indicated earlier we have got to go through the right process or training. we have some experience of what happens when we try to overload the training system. we did that not too long ago and
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the results were not satisfactory so i have directed we do this in an aggressive deliberate manner so we get quality training done. so i'm comfortable that we have taken action on the most important recommendation near term. those that they couldn't implement and the way that we want to finally implement them we have taken initial temporary action to achieve that end state and i am briefed weekly on our progress in implementing the rest and we will get at those quickly. >> indeed, i have worked on such issues as a j.a.g. officer in the army guard. a concern i have on trainees being elected to report misconduct is always a concern about retaliation and pressure. how is this being addressed?
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>> you highlighted one of the most challenging issues that we have and that is how do we get quality feed that from everyone, both trainees, instructors and others who are part of the system. we have a system of getting feet back now but it is not affected for us. when i look at the 59 victims less than a handful came to us to provide us feedback on what happened. totally unsatisfactory. we have got to find a better way of connecting with them. i think is part of the investigative process we have wrote an important ground on how to do that better. we know that you can't just asked the question once and expect that the initial answer is always going to provide an accurate assessment of what's going on. so how we talk to people and the persistence with which we engage them the right way is very key to this. we also know although victims
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oftentimes themselves won't talk, they report for any number of reasons, they do talk to other people in many cases. they talk to their friends and i talk they talk to their families and talk to co-workers and by engaging those people in the right way we have been able to get a great deal of additional information on the cases that we have today. i believe the feedback and accurate feedback is one that we are going to continue to explore i have asked the rand corporation to specifically look at this issue. it's easy for me to sit down and write down a bunch of questions over a couple of hours and think i have an effect of survey. the actual facts tell us that isn't very effective and to do this right requires a sophisticated understanding of people and how they feel about these issues.
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i think they are going to help us understand how better to get at this area of better feedback. >> thank you very much. ms. sanchez. >> thank you mr. chairman and thank you the witnesses and generals for being before us. my question is of those military training instructors who have been convicted or under investigation did those service record showing the history of unprofessional behavior or sexual harassment prior to this? >> i am not aware of any that showed any behaviors of sexual harassment or sexual misconduct. we have a screening process that before you become a military training instructor, we look back at your history for five years and you had to have essentially acclaimed history. that was way verbal by the crew commander and so that is another area where we have addressed
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that process, look at the background screening program and we are doing everything we can to not as i said earlier that bring people into this environment that don't have a very strong and proven record of disciplinary history in addition to job performance. >> okay. in the air force as an airman or air woman that happens to be involved in a sexual harassment case, how does the air force received it? >> in a sexual harassment case? yes man the same way we deal with any misconduct with an airman. there are legalist visors and we go through an investigative process and make what you believe is the appropriate and proper decision. >> so, if you want to be one of these instructors anywhere being screened and you have had sexual harassment in the past on the
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job would would it necessarily a near record? >> i can create a scenario where it would not be. >> various scenarios where they might not be? >> yes and various scenarios where it would not be. >> because it's a discretion of commanders are certain people as to how they are going to deal with it? a lot of times the sexual harassment that type of situation may not show up on somebody's record, am i correct? >> i believe you and i might disagree on the term a lot of times. i would not tolerate a. >> you would not tolerate it but there are various instances correct for the commander can have a choice of doing other things? >> certainly. be if this instructor -- 1 of the instructor, is being transferred to another unit, with that new commander necessarily know that they have
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had a sexual harassment episode in the past? >> let me answer generically and i will ask ed to address the specific issue in the lackland investigation that we are walking towards. if an individual is transferred as a result of poor performance and bad behavior related to sexual harassment i would he astonished if it was not somehow related to his record. they were being transferred as a matter of routine transfer and there is the decision made that the sexual-harassment was not substantiated for example then it would probably not be. >> or if there might've been an incident that was handled in a different way and didn't show on the record that this person could be transferred and it would never show up? >> i would tell you that yes that could happen. if we knew about one other commanders acting that way we would remove them from command. >> at which all of our commanders were held to that
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standard. it's my understanding that sometimes they don't actually hold themselves to that standard i am asking these questions because i'm trying to find out you know -- do we have seen that sexual-harassment leads in many cases to sexual assault. and so we have to be cognizant of trying to handle these things and these issues and to put it on people's herds so we don't promote them and move them and let them know that well i got away with it in this case. sometimes it's a -- sort of situation. so my next question is about the air force commanders conduct in climate assessment. the g8 report in september of 2011 told us that this was
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consistently done. how is this done in the air force -- in the fiscal year 23 mda that climate reports have to be done? there are two reasons why people don't like to do them we learned when commanders are resistant in conducting them and the command lacks an equal opportunity at pfizer. so what are you doing about this because we know if we had climate assessment some of this harassing kind of a situation might have bent put forward. what are you doing now? >> the gentlelady's time has expired. >> i would like to put in the record mr. chairman. >> mr. turner? >> thank you mr. chairman. appreciate you holding this hearing and the other hearings you have also held in your attention on the legislative side to addressing the sexual assault issue. you have been a leader on this and i've appreciated your soup poured as my cochair and the cochair of the sexual assault
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prevention caucus. prevention caucus. you have been a great advocate as we have worked with the senate on these provisions. gentlemen we know why this happens. it happens where we come to this time where we say how in the military could there have been such a systematic right down of leadership and not no? we know why and it is absolutely an issue of culture. we can try to pass laws and try to pass legislation but until we break the culture that allows the environments of this to occur we are never going to make these changes from the seats in congress. they have to come from the seats that you have in the leadership there you have and i want to thank you because i believe you have turned to this issue or go but i want to focus on the issue of culture to really identify why the military dod needs to address this issue first of
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culture. by marine who came forward with the allegation of rape and was subsequently murdered by the accused and had been re-victimized by the system in my office provided assistance to her and we all know her story from the movie the invisible war in in the marie lawton by case and want to read a letter i got back from them range. after she'd been viciously murdered writer accused we contacted the marines have asked them how could you not know that she was at risk for a violent crime for a violent action or assault and they actually wrote back this letter to me, which i have here from the tenet general crem which marine corps staff. asked him this question. does the rape accusation in nearly contained threats and this is the letter i got back. lauterbach never alleged any
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violence or threat of violence in neither sexual encounter so first i have a question that is relatively simple. have you ever heard of a non-violent rape? gen rice? >> no. >> general welsh? >> no congressmen i have not. >> i appreciate that because that is the answer i've gotten from every hearing and that is basically part of the culture understanding that this is a crime and its violence and i want to tell you another story. i've a question for either. we were at the marine commandant's house sitting around his dining room table my cochair nick tsongas was there and he can incorporate the story. we are wrapping a discussion on the issue culture and the need to change the culture in the department of defense and we were all done. we had all identified issues that needed to be addressed in the morning, don's wife said before everyone leaves you need to hear this and she turned to a senior female officer who was sitting around the table and
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said to her, could you tell them what you told me earlier? if you are subject to a sexual assault would you report its? and she said no. as the marine senior female officers sitting at the commandant, don's table and she said no. i would like to address that issue with both of you because clearly that is the culture. the concern is the fear of coming forward but the fact that they would be subject to re-victimization and their career would be subject to a disadvantage and as we hear all the stories of the victims they basic issue we have is their concern or fear of coming forward. i want to ask both of you. you have to see the culture of the military that part of the problem of what happens in this case and the number of cases you have is the fear of people who are fit dems. i want to ask you to discuss that. the fear of the victims and how you change that culture. the second thing as and general welsh he made a comment that i
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kind of cringed at because i hear this and the military and it's a term that goes partly to some of the disconnect of the view of this. you said we have to stop bad behavior. it's not bad behavior. it's a crime and i think the people around it the non-victims they don't feel comfortable because they have a similar fear and we only have 30 seconds of you could comment on that. >> the bad behavior was referring to is the behavior before a crime is committed by people who officially commit a crime and we don't stop the adverse behavior. of the potential perpetrators. the key to solving this problem, every time i talk to an air force officer the first question i ask about this issue is why on what was undoubtedly the worst day of the victims life did they not turn to us for help? we stand beside them in combat areas and we go to war with them and protect each other's lives. we talk about this constantly.
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we are missing something fundamental in the human-to-human interaction that will allow them to feel safe enough to come to us and report and let's put our arms around them and help us through that horrible event in their lives. you are right congressman that is at the heart of the problem. >> gentlemen if you make that your priority we will be able to go a long way in being able able to address this. >> ms. tsongas. >> yes congressman turner has alluded to the fear factor for pairing i think you know there are many of us on this committee to take this issue very seriously and many who have worked so hard to address it and move you all a heads. so i thank you both for the efforts you have put forth to address sexual misconduct. it's a crime that continues to shock us with regularity. ..
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but i asked her if there was prevalent as i was beginning to learn and she said man, i am more afraid of my own soldiers than the enemy. so that is still this is a very challenging situation and the cultural change is to change not just among officers, but enlisted service members who make up 80% of the force. so as he talked about what
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you're doing and started not to talk, how do you change culture across the 80%? what are you doing that that level to encourage everyone to embrace the effort to are currently engaged and because if you don't and are successful, we will be coming back again and again and again. you will tell us story, but we continue to hear very shocking situations u.s.a. will not occur again. >> thank you for giving me the opportunity to comment on this. they never said it will not occur again. we can't accept this. we all know that. human behavior as you well know because you're actively involved in this every single day is difficult to change. i don't believe the entire air force has a culture of sexual
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assault. i believe their unit, places over time as people change in personalities take over the retreat pocket. that's what happened that this investigation. i don't believe everybody in the united states air force accepts a culture of sexual assault. we have officers come and see us come the civilians who have daughters who are working side-by-side with arafat around the world. they're not going to tolerate a culture of sexual assault. >> what do you do change the culture not the wing commander? whatever specific steps specific steps you can take to begin to address that quite >> server simple things. increase the battle rhythm in addressing this issue. this is a sheet that shows that to descend on every level of supervision for january to march
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march 2013. pasting fake videos for this youth air force, commander conferences, four-star sessions, comanches sessions at every level. it says that the unit level. every chief insider gets together to discuss this issue. its commanders close to the squadron level. roll call at the flag level and it's in every training, every pme quarters. commander is getting the discussion going and keeping it going not just for a short period of time, but so it becomes part of who we are. >> how do you institutionalize once you're no longer the air force chief of staff? how to make sure that continues click >> and meet with the response team on the air staff because you have two drivers have multiple levels. if i'm out of town, my bases or runs as verse there lieutenant
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general darrell johnson are experts in this area. we created to reduce that where you bring in something new, something we haven't tried. some idea somewhere else remember congress, an advocacy group, university or service that tried some thing between a demographic group and the logic of implementing only create a battle with them. were implementing new ideas, assessing how well they work. we continued the ones that seem to be making a difference. it's got to become part of the fabric of how we operate. we talk about it, communicate regularly, come up with the purchase to increase effectiveness. we had to do the same thing on the command site. >> gemma ladies time expired. mr. kaufman. >> thank you, mr. chairman. thank you both for coming here
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today to testify on the problems of sexual assault in air force basic training at lackland air force base. one question i have come the general rice, one of the conclusions that it is was to reduce the train time, the number of weeks at lackland air force base, is that correct? >> it was a recommendation in the investigation, the 46 recommendation i said i would deal with in a different forum. we're looking at the look of basic military training at the length of the training will be determined by training they need to accomplish and not specifically on addressing this issue. >> let me just tell you obviously training is inadequate because you have a culture of
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the united states air force that allows these pervasive assaults to occur by your senior enlisted person now during basic training the purpose of basic training or entry-level period of training in many branches of service, and i've been through two. army or inquiries to indoctrinate the soldier and airman, marine or soldier into customs and courtesies into the rows associated with the code of military justice equally. so obviously some in his messina not training. so you need to reinforce the training, not reduce the training they need to come out of their come of the men and women in uniform served in the united states air force with a solid understanding of what the
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values of the united states air force are because obviously those senior enlisted that perpetrated these crimes were not sufficiently indoctrinated as to the values that the united states air force. would you like to respond? >> yes, sir. i completely agree that what makes this so egregious and military training is exactly the reason you stated, which is this is the place where we have to inculcate the basic alleys of our service on our newest air force. when we violate the trust that we have to do that in that responsibility is difficult to describe the damage that happens to individuals and assets in the dictation. i agree 100%. >> everything you write, there's an element of training to this,
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but at the end of the day we have people who knew well what the rules and policies were, who knew well the difference between right and wrong and decided to make a wrong choice. so part of that i can address this. it has to do people size of what they perceive as wrong and what is right and how i get it that is partially training. but i think i've had to think more broadly about how i affect calculus about actions that they're going to take. if i would look at this not just a major state respect is, having people make the right decision because it's the right decision, but a recognition that some people will not be dissuaded regardless of the training i have peered out that you had to make a calculation of the consequences of their actions are going to be negative enough,
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so as much as i concentrate on the training piece of this, i'm also focusing on they detect, deter and hold accountable piece because i know there are people i have to do that with. >> i would accrue to him a critical that is that i think it's important that those entering the service have the moral foundation. the people that don't have a foundation can put into the tapestry to the world. at the end of the day, everything will be a calculus issue described as to the risk and reward for my conduct versus what's morally the right thing to do. i do want to stress that discipline comes from that entry-level training. of course i think no doubt it has to be reinforced at all
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times. thank you for your testimony today. i yield back. >> determines time expired. >> thank you for your testimony. i probably represent san antonio, texas, home of lackland air force base. i think when their skin the site is, and is essentially two things that must happen. we need to make sure justice is swiftly served and learn from our mistakes and implement policies to change practices. in regard to that, do we know, have investigated whether any of this occurred at any basic training units and military branches? was heard to be believed in the last three years there is something specific to that environment it didn't happen somewhere else at a different time. can he speak to the scope of the investigation and whether there has been an indication of problems anywhere else?
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>> i do know and i won't speak for services, but each one of them is the direction of defense committees their military training equivalent program and has reviewed the report we have written on it and looked at the issues we have found as they apply to their system. so i know that there has been a review done by the other services. i cannot speak to what they found as a result of their reviews. >> congressman also come the secretary of defense early in process as general rice to come forward and give him an update unwittingly signing. as a result of the initial update, secretary ordered an assessment of military training for other services that is ongoing and will be delivered shortly.
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i don't have a delivery date, but the next couple. anything learned from this license are shared. part of the effort initiated mentioned before and will communicate with the other services training programs and make connections for reaching interaction, not after something ugly occurs. we hope to share all this at the other services that have been fully briefed on the findings and recommendations. all of that orchestrated to the secretary of defense sexual assault prevention office. >> finally, have you seen an effect on recruiting and what has been the effect on morale of the soldiers? >> no impact that i can tell in this looked on recruiting. fortunately, we are still able to attract the best and brightest young men and women better nation has to offer and
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will continue to work on that. in terms of morale, this has been a significant, emotional event for people responsible for the training program at lackland. in general, the reaction of other instructors and supervisors when this first started to break was fun that their belief was this was a few bad apples. this does not represent any significant number of mp eyes. i think today they understand although it is 4% of the population, 40% is a much larger number than anyone would have suspect did existed. so they've had to both recognize
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that this is in fact a real problem. they have to recognize they have a significant part to play in addressing the problem. i think they've embraced the changes, many of them, which have run against the tradition of the way we've done things in the past. part of what we are doing, and where area. this is an ongoing process, is to work to have them understand that they have to take control of this issue. if were going to be fully successful, they have to be part of the solution and this is an ongoing process of transformation that we're well on our way towards, but i'm not in any way ready to declare victory. >> thank you, general. i yield back. >> thank you.
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mr. runyon. >> thank you, chairman. kind of getting through talking about culture environment, compared to your first weather service says, how much of it -- have either of you ran the numbers for seen the numbers? , near people comfortable in a situation and created about consider changeover in holding people accountable more often than not? general rice, d.c. were going with that? >> let me answer the question. if i don't answer fully, please re-ask it. i agree having people especially in an environment that can be as challenging as basic military training for too long a period of time exposes them to the issues and challenges that can be corrosive over time.
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we have to pay attention to how long we allow someone to serve in these positions that is part of the solution as we move forward. they're going to restrict the last time you can serve as an error, for example, to three years. it used to be four years. we are going to divide the duty day and half feature not having contact during that entire duty day with trainees. it's a way of getting up this issue of exposure over time that we believe can be very corrosive, both in terms of an individual and development of a culture. culture sometimes is used in a negative way. every group of people, whether two, 200 or 2000 is the way human beings react to each other. most aspects are very positive. how we relate to each other, reinforce each other.
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there's lots of elements of culture i want to have as part of basic training amongst trainees and trainers said they can reinforce the positive elements of what they have to have a part of this environment. you have to be careful with that culture because it can over time become insular and develop negative elements you have to be careful about. so part of the changes we have made it to ensure in addition to people that are part of basic military training, but of combat for a second or third assignment , important for us to have the right experience levels throughout the chain of command. we also have more people who are not part of the culture in terms of having previous experience. so i swiped the most senior enlisted level we are bringing a chief master sergeant to a not then former military training and start yours because it gives a fresh assay is important to
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inject into this group of people. >> you did answer the question. thank you very much. the place are healthier as a society. we always say if you see some income if they send thing. when you're in any situation, any group in your personal relationships with your buddy, you tend not to raise the question. as far as what do you do -- is there anything you can do on a disciplinary aspect of the to codify more stringent penalties? to just encourage behaviors as were discussed? >> we have a standard of behavior we demand of our instructors. there's been disciplinary action
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taken because people do things they didn't report in the right way. so i have a set of policies that require reporting of maltreatment are not training. if anyone sees something, they have to answer for that nonreporting as part of the process of accountability we have for this standard we put in place. there was a sanction, but i stay with this works properly, that is sort of a secondary way to address the problem. when we have that working in the way we needed to work to be most effective, the instructors and people within the system will be deemed in a way i don't have to use the hammer in order to achieve the result. again, this is a work in
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progress. we have to recognize regardless of the screens i used to bring people in, i'm still going to have some people that i have to use a variety of tools to achieve the result. >> ms. davis. >> thank you, mr. chairman for being here. as you know, a few of us had a chance to go to lackland him out to commend them for opening up the opportunity for the questions we need to ask to have access, particularly who spoke with us under discussion was very compelling. i wonder if you have or how you have engaged them particularly because they had a background from which to speak about this.
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certainly i'm feeling ostracized on this whole issue of culture and what do we do in terms of bystanders who have information that is not shared. how is the information used as you move forward? and did you actually talk to them? one of the things we've heard from them, which was really surprising was nobody had actually asked them. >> thank you, congresswoman davis. i appreciate the question. when major general woodward conducted her investigation, she had an extensive piece of her research peace and love talking to instructors and several recommendations based directly on the feedback she got from instructors. subsequent to that, the wing commander in place now and the
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group commander who is directly responsible for basic military training has conducted a series of engagements with our instructors. the absolute first thing the new wing commander did was sit down with military training and start yours. have a session to let them know what his expert patients were, importantly to convey clearly what the outside world was thinking about this and to get feedback from them and let them know that he was completely open to their assessment of what we need to do to move forward because he understands better than anyone that he cannot do this alone. >> i know you've spoken to the increased communication and that's very important. one of the things we did here and i send this is related as well, that having some
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informal -- this sounds contrary, but informal mandatory meetings for everybody to have a chance to sit down and talk about what they see because trying to get these issues of environment and climate and culture questionnaires, most people don't believe you got there. so having the opportunity to sit down and it is mandatory everybody's doing it and it doesn't mean someone is going and telling on their peers, which is a really big problem that you thought discovered i know. i didn't quite see that in the recommendations and i'm just wondering, where does that issue fall when it comes to the broader areas of recruiting an oversight and review that clearly have not all been instituted to?
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>> you're right. that is not a specific recommendation. but i want to underscore the 45 recommendations are just the starting point. we've done a lot more since then and will continue to do more in the past and i am welcoming on what else we can do. you and i've talked about this issue. it's an important one that we need to find the right way to address. i want to do it in the right way. he gets back to the idea of feedback. >> i guess my question would be why not, why something like that is cost, personnel and a follow-up question in the terms of female and what you doing about that? >> volunteer question of a code and then turn it back on the female numbers.
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first of all, a lot of people have spoken. secretary of the air force last fall it done the same thing. the leadership as he mentioned have all talked to them. a lot of people have talked to the mti's to get feedback. the number one that i took away was those people in the passion they have for this problem, they feel exactly the way a few minutes or air force. our military out to be written server. we have a structure, ability to command, control and the ability to punish. we have tools to be good role models for this. we have the american people. >> general, please come a time is expired. could you please finish the answer for the record. >> mr. nation. >> thank you, mr. chairman.
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as a graduate from lackland air force base many years ago, really disturbing as they move across, but my big concern having been a sheriff and prosecuted uninvestigated train an assault cases is that the imitation, how we deal with those in particularly as an organization, how does the process go? sexual assault or sexual harassment don't always go hand in hand, that they are different in certain aspects. the commander makes the decision whether or not it goes through its judicial process by nonjudicial process. how do they make that decision? >> it was sometimes be handled through other venues.
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very often it will be raised by reports of equal opportunity office on base or better general on-base. the investigation conducted by the office is a formal process. that reports back to the commander and there's a decision on do. is there something that escalates this to a level under the ecm jay? to make decisions after the process is completed. a report every sexual assault takes us to a different level. the office of special investigations about and jumps into a process bound and judged. >> to do after chain of command to report that? >> they do not. you can report to make opportunity office of inspector general. go to your chain of command and report any number of ways. clearly reporting as part of the
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problem. despite options, people do not report routinely on sexual assault or harassment. that's one of the major issues. >> thus the climate issue in regards how you get folks to come forward and particularly in a military application because they want to cooperate in graduate. they want to be able to move up to the ranks and they are fearful that an allegation would be used against them versus a fair and judicious application. so what are you doing specifically for the vague terms to encourage them to come forward without the worry of retaliation? >> we stop this when they were recruits. the recruiter provides them with
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a one-on-one thing about what is and what is sent aloud in terms of behavior when they get to basic military training. that briefing is repeated once they get to basic military training within the first days they arrived. and then they repeat in terms of expectations. it's not a silver bullet, but one of the means we try to overtime set the expert tatian of what printed people to our organization should expect and what is normal behavior and what is at verbal behavior and try overtime to engagements in the right way to develop a level of trust in the person conveying that information and in the system and how it will react. it's like an important way basic training is other avenues for
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trainees to report. we've added more sexual assault coordinators who will be in the community and have more opportunity to have engagements as trainees. we've added someone who we hope they will feel may be more comfortable talking in one-on-one sessions. in more leadership in general will be part of the equation. none of these at one point solutions, the part of a total package that has us in the right direction. >> your victim advocates and investigators, do they work hand-in-hand to hope that the them move forward in regards to dealing with the allegation? >> special victims counsel job is to advise victim to make it as simple, understandable and
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painless and streamline the process to include court-martial activity so they are removed to the lack of understanding of poor communications that often makes the situation worse. >> gentleman's time expired. this buyer. >> thank you, mr. chairman and generals for your participation. i have a letter dated november 162 general rice for me that i would like to submit for the record, mr. chairman. >> without objection so ordered. what year was that? >> last year. we all had a meeting about this document. we talked about $17,000. we talked about are due to. general rice reference 7700 interviews and not one of the
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victims, not one of the 50 plus victims at lackland. 46 recommendations came out. how can any be complete without first having talked to at least some of the terms? the letter i sent to general rice stated in november thought to have this sick insanity. i've yet to get a response from general rice. >> i don't think the effort can be complete. >> let me go on. the trainees we met with, we have lunch with them. there were 17, 18, 19 years of age. they were young, naïve, ernest. as i sat there having lunch, i thought my god, these are the issues my daughter. all of these trainees at the edges of my daughter and my
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daughter would no more have the ability to say no to a military training and struck her who you are taught is the law. you do everything that training instructor tells you. there's been a lot of talk here today about all the things happening, but would have been his military training tours directed these trainees to go to supply closet and into the laundry room, where they were then sexually assaulted in raped. two instructors admitted to having had sex with 10 of their trainees each of these instructors were married. in the end, do you agree or not agree that consent should not be part of this quotient? general rice said some of these were willingly gauged in sex.
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as i understand it, the sub on is to never be alone with the trainees. never alone. so can a trainee willingly had sex with her and struck her? your answer. >> i would never be able to look you in the eye and tell you that no trainee at any age, 32, 34 years old who go through this program would ever offer their personal consent in a situation. i don't know that. i can't judge that and that's a little problematic under the law. let me tell you what i do agree with. an individual serving as the training and struck her who has a relationship with a trainee has no place in the air force said there should be a present distinction under some mechanism to discharge them.
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>> i'm introducing a bill today will basically say no longer can a consensual relationship between a train and instruct her in trainee be used as a defense for the acts of the training instructor. would you support that legislation? >> i'd have to ask my legal experts to advise them in the technicalities of that legislation. i would support you in an effort to make sure someone who has that relationship and air force program is unacceptable. >> -- kicked out of the military. thank you. a military expert, professor haggled recently said the you see mj is something recognized by george the, that they're very similar to what is going on in the u.k. the united kingdom
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understandable like this in 2006 and they created a separate unit that was staffed with experts in investigations and prosecutions within the military to handle these cases so the decision was not made the unit commander. i was in 2006. in 2007, they found good order and discipline stated tax, that affects the unit commanders were relieved not having to handle cases anymore. i would like to encourage you to speak with your counterparts at the u.k. to see how their system works and see if we would be better served moving in a system like that. i yield back. >> dr. lindstrom. >> i'm encouraged to hear you say there is a training session for new recruits before they go
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to dmt and i think that's very hopeful. i guess my question is how do we get to recruits to fully understand or believe that reporting bad behavior will be supported by the leadership and will not harm them, that they develop the trust and notice that's the right thing to do. what might be her suggestions beyond not? >> very challenging. a printer basic military military training as well, not if most of them are sent, but at the air force we do the same thing, so that in that position and understand fully with these trainees think about this environment and how challenging it would be, looking back at my time and experience to talk about things like this. sometimes it's very challenging. as much as we want people to do certain things, i think we have
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to deal with the reality of the environment they are in uncharted ikebana from their is. part of this has to do with getting more feedback from trainees and looking at those barriers. the most important element for decision we can make in this regard has to do with trust. at the end of the day, if people don't trust you 3% or institution, the recent anything we do in terms of training that will have to make the decision to take what they perceive as personal risk. as we train our instructors and how to relate to the trainees, how we train other people within this environment to rebate to trainees, who we try to ensure how that level of trust and confidence within the system is a part of the work we are
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undertaking. i don't have the answer today, but i know that's a place has got to get better at if i'm going to be more successful in the future. i think we can do a lot better, but i'm not ready to tell you today that i figure that out. >> mr. johnson. >> thank you, mr. chairman. a person who is training under a trainer and has a consensual, some might say sexual relationship, sexual. in other words, sexual the boss
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might induce consensual, but what is going through the mind of the trainee is that i need to do this in order to get through training successfully. so it is safe to rise, a mental type of situation. may not be forcible physically, but forcible mentally that is why if there is not one now, there should be a crime that makes it a per se violation to have sexual, to be a or not, between and instruct her and a trainee and i think that is probably something that is
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tsongas has in her bill. now, a different situation between say a former trainer or trainer who formally trained someone who's made it through training and now that person is added to dominion and control of the trainer, then there could be a consensual sexual relationship that does not equate to rape. it might be unprofessional or something like that. i'm not saying it is at all times noncriminal. but let's just say that a former
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trainer and a former trainee -- a former trainer and a person that he trained, he or she trained at a time previously are in a sexual relationship, but the woman or the man, does it them -- the sum might say i don't want to do this today and that is forced on them. so that is a classic rape allegation. for someone just took authority and impose themselves on a weaker individual physically. i looked at the guidelines, the list of commander directed investigation recommend nations and i see nothing about training
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of the military police in the gathering of physical evidence does support the accused -- i'm sorry, but his support the accuser in making the allegation of a forcible rape because you only have one word against the other. no other witnesses, so you've got to prove the case by some physical evidence, they rape is what is generally called. why is that we don't make provisions for these types of cases, which i think are pretty typical, in addition to the other sexual assault cases, harassment, nonphysical
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activities. why is that were not dealing with this activity of rape and forcible and dig site that in terms of police investigation of prosecutorial ability to prosecute effectively? 's been a we are. we train 24 special victims investigators to this point. we've started a new class model on the army cid class advised by outside efforts to put together a curriculum to focus on that investigation. we had some outside experts to give us feedback on the subject is. we were on classes to the course routinely. we sent 50 air force, judge advocate through the course before starting this month. we'll continue to further train investigators and skills required to investigate these actions. my opinion part of the problem we have trouble sticking is
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because the way they handled the investigative cycle is critical to them be willing to study with their commitment to identifying and prosecuting an assailant. >> the gentleman's time has expired. [inaudible] [inaudible] [inaudible conversations] [inaudible] >> i'm sorry, 17% of those women reported the incident.
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my question and i apologize, i'm brand-new and this is my first hearing. i don't have the benefit of our veterans and on the committee. if i am a women in the military and i am sexually basaltic, how to report that? to a call from a cell phone? which generates the report? >> and a number of tanks. there's hotlines at every base. you can tell someone in your chain of command. everyone knows you can go to the inspector general comes security forces, the base hospital or clinic and ask for help there. anywhere in that network is committed to the mechanism that start the activity forward. the problem is most people don't know who to talk to or they could talk to, it is that they don't feel comfortable reporting. the congressman mentioned sometimes they are concerned about getting in trouble for
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someone holding them accountable some are concerned about their family finding out, friends finding out, spouse finding out. some of them are embarrassed. some of them feel guilty about the incident. all these things come together to create a problem that people don't go comfortable stepping forward. it is something we have to work constantly. i don't have an easy answer. new in the job world community shocked every time you hear this, just like i am. >> do we have in the military something specific because this is crime. do we have a whistleblower protection in the military? and i protected and no that if i am the victim of a crime but i know i protected? and i'm not familiar to understand and i protected if i go and sin the victim of a
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crime? >> may be. there's no hard firm on this is your protected if you come forward and report something i'm never one to make sure you will never suffer a consequence for any action you took. i think in the past there's been many more incidents where people were held accountable for activity involved in or around any that were they became a victim. that's unacceptable. in this particular case, none of the victims have been held accountable or make you feel like they were guilty of anything. that's what has to has to be going forward. we have a sexual assault toward nader. as soon as we find out any part of this reporting chain that we have a victim, they are contacted by the assault coordinator and all the things we can provide are available to them. i just want first the
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investigative staff. that's the last thing we want to worry. it's the personal care, counseling, forensic examining required. >> when i call and report the incident, and my match with gender gender reports? if i am raped, in my reporting to a woman? >> and it totally, the majority are women, but no, that's not the case everywhere. >> was the ratio? i simply don't buy the ratio of military start this? i don't buy your acronyms, i apologize. but if your basic military instructor, how many women versus men do we have in the air force? >> 11% in the movie to 25%. air force one is about 18%. >> thank you. thank you, mr. chairman.
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>> thank you, mr. chairman. would you agree with me the command chief with the commander said the command climate of the unit? >> comanches are an integral part of that, but i believe it is fundamentally the commander's responsibility to maintain the command climate within a unit. >> and the comanches is like the interface between enlisted folks, ncos and commanders. >> certainly, yes. a critical link. >> general brise, how many female comanches do you have a lackland air force base on how many in the recruiting command? >> i can't give you an exact number. i'll take that for the record.
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>> i'd like to have that information. >> cheddar rice, can you tell me the accessibility and a female basic military training haas to reaching out to a female comanches? >> no, i can't give you an exact answer to that question. i would answer it this way. we have a number of females who are in the instructor or staff or supervisory or command position. we are moving to a place where we have more females in this position. i don't select commanders based on their gender. i don't select comanches based on their gender. i do believe the military training instructor level that
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responsible for 50 trainee should clued one female, but beyond that, we have not made another determination to make assignments of leadership positions based on gender. >> have you in any way, general brise, and powered your comanches to do with this problem that seems to be happening or seems to have been happening. i'm sure it's not happening now, but have you had powered comanches to act with this? and if so, how. >> no. at my level, i have not taken any direct action to specifically empower command chiefs other than making it mandatory that rank is no longer a senior master sergeant, the chief master sergeant, which is not a trivial matter. i believe you understand this and your background and
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significance of that. fundamentally i have to depend on a commander to use resources i have provided to him or her to maintain a proper command environment and it's up to that commander to use those resources, whether it's the first sergeant, command chief, operations officer, supervisor or anybody else to use a combination of resources in a unique way because every commander is different to maintain good order and discipline in the proper environment and its problematic if i start to dictate how they put the team of people together. >> i would agree with you that it he will be problematic, but i think you have a problem that needs to be dealt with. i would suggest having dealt with these kinds of problems in my previous career that by setting the proper command
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climates, you can resolve those problems. an inherent way of doing that is empowering and reliant on command cheese, bp nines, chief master sergeant's to date the commander in ensuring ncos and every one of those mti's. they understand the commander's intent. i yield the balance of my time. >> doctor hack. >> thank you for your service. but her discussion about the climate and what is done to encourage individuals victims to report retoucher richard duchenne. general race, you've talked
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about what to report and how to report. as a military commander, i know love is training programs basic and recurrent and the problem is whether it is d.o., consideration of others seem to become stagnant powerpoint or people said in a classroom with eyes glazed over. these programs have been going on for years that these incidents have occurred even while training programs have been put forward. how do you judge the effect of mr. training programs that are supposed to be providing this initial entry servicemembers are those on the frontlines going to annual recurrent training sonny's topics to make sure they understand. the training we do is not on the air force. i'm an army guy. the training across the services isn't resonating. they continue beyond.
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how do we assess training programs out there to try to send the tide of these sexual insults and associated incidents click >> intestate question. i mentioned before the volumes of training and education programs and we continue to keep in place an add more. all services do this through the question is which are having an impact. expand those, emphasize those. quit wasting resources in people's time that could be better spent in a different way. we've talked to experts advising us on this topic. the one thing that caught me because i'm more interested in seeing if it works quickly. the experts say is that you be careful about that. they want on the impact until you get time to work. it takes a while, so the
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strategic part is that once we stick with that we have to refresh and make them applicable to our young work force. we had to put scenarios on youtube. we have to do the kinds of things that will attract them. it's not powerpoint. that is not quite a haul. that's the effort were focused on right now. how to energize that a bit to personal level, not the back of the room of 500 of your closest friends. >> and encouraged by that approach and i hope you share with her sister services. far too often it's a classroom and watching sites go buy for 30 minutes regardless of information absorbed by the person sitting in the chair. i applaud your effort to do some comprehensive assessment of what does work in making sure we push
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that out across the services. you die. thank you, mr. chair. >> the gentleman yields back. >> thank you, mr. chairman. general welsh, either questionably should be directed towards you. how are the victims of this investigation i lackland air force base clearly being cared for? >> thank you, man. this may be the most important question of the day. they're being cared for as little as possible. 59 victims suffered whatever level of support. 57 except for the resolve care, counseling, legal assistance, general rice can give you more details in the types of things they accepted. ..
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a few well such that they don't require support, and others have made full use of the support mechanisms that we have, so each one of these is a very individual case and individual decision. i am confident that we have made a good-faith effort to offer the
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support and conduct the investigations in a way that we have tried not to read victimize the victims. we try to honor their request if they simply as i just want to sort of move on here. i do think it's something i talk to my team about just as we have found out the initial answer if we free approach people many different rate over time that we can get them to build up a sufficient level of trust they will be more accurate with us because a victim said no i don't need any help that we should go back at some appropriate time interval and reoffered at assistance because it does change people's perceptions of this.
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i have all my list of things to do here the lack of reporting on the willingness to report incidences' as they happened i think right now every single darman is watching the situation and watching our victims to see how they are being treated and making decisions on whether to future reports or report on incidences' that could be going on right now and in the future that you were building a reputation right now on how you respond to these victims and will determine your success on getting more accountability and getting more reporting to be willing to come forward and talk about what we may or may not be happening so just know as we work our way through this process and try to bring a resolution and improvement to it that there are a lot of eyes on you and on how we are caring for the current dictums that we have and that we have an opportunity to do the best that we can to take care of them. i've looked at some of these recommendations and i have a specific question about one or
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two of them depending on how much time i have. one of the recommendations said shortened the linked to a maximum of three years and do not allow the fall on special duty assignments. with the stephen perpetrating a crime or assault against the victim there for longer periods of time they have a longer service rate in their position they held is that why the recommendation has been accepted? >> we did have some that were there for longer than three or four years. typically you won't serve as a military training instructor for that long and move on to a supervisory position so that lasts about serving as a military training instructor than it is consistent participation in the whole process. the idea is to serve one and move on to something else. >> my concern is i read this and assumed some of the perpetrators potentially for in these positions too long and that may
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be the climate with in that position as they were there for a longer period of time developed an attitude or environment where they felt that though it was marketable the longer they were there. i guess that is an answer by looking for is there is no consistency unlike the time in that position from the perpetrators. the gentleman that concludes the questions we have for the first panel. thank you for work that you're doing and we will excuse you and move to the second panel.
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this is the call for our last series of votes for the day to try to get as far as we can before we leave we have on the second panel david for the consultant, chief master sergeant united states air force retired with a service women's action network and technical surgeon jennifer norris retired from protect our defenders. >> thank you mr. chairman ranking members met and to the committee for giving me this opportunity to speak this morning to buy a critical psychologist researcher in the forensic consultant for the past 25 years i've studied rapists and i treated and evaluated men
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and women that suffer from sexual violence. the past ten years i've worked extensively with the service is in the u.s. military and simultaneously in the civilian sector life worked with dozens of universities across the state and law enforcement agencies with state and local prosecutors. my extensive contact with both military and civilian constitutions in the country provide me with a perspective on the problem of sexual violence by would like to articulate to the committee. sexual violence affects all nations and societies. they are not distinguished by whether or not they have a problem with sexual violence but rather by whether or not they actively enforce or come from the problem. the same is true for institutions with in those societies. it's perhaps a little ironic in the testimony the you've been hearing today. but in almost every respect for the u.s. military is doing more to come from the violence than any other institution in the united states. nevertheless despite their efforts there are serious problems in the services that have either yet to be addressed
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were yet to be fully resolved. for the sustained scrutiny by the congress are generally by advocacy groups some of which are represented here today. harvard the criticism of the military very often implies that its problems and shortcomings are unique. in my opinion this is not only grossly inaccurate, it also is a serious disservice to the country and lets other institutions in this country off the hook. and in so doing it puts the men and women in those institutions and communities at a greater risk of sexual violence. specifically our universities haven't confronted their problems with sexual violence with a commitment shown in the services there are few exceptions however in no university have i ever seen this type of commitment from leadership from the sustained efforts and tackling the very
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challenging problems that i've witnessed in the services. perhaps the most scathing criticism the military has received has been focused on the shortcomings and prosecuting cases of violence. again i believe this criticism is necessary. however our country would be well served of the criticism of the military prosecution record was placed in the contact of the sexual violence. with rare exceptions again there are enormous problems with the prosecution of sexual assaults and civilian jurisdictions. mahon stranger cases represent the vast majority of all sexual assaults. they are challenging cases to investigate and prosecute and very few civilian jurisdictions have made the necessary effort to train their staff to effectively take on these cases. as a result many non-stranger cases are in adequately investigated and never even taken into accordance. many local prosecutors failed to prosecute the types of monster cases military prosecutors. the services are making efforts
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and you heard reference to some of these this morning in the criminal response to sexual violence as this one example this was mentioned already the army is developed a two week course to train the investigators in the state of the art techniques investigating them on stranger cases and four injured 40 investigators are now being trained each year it's one of the much-needed improvements that take place in the military's criminal-justice response of sexual assault will take time for the improvements to a cold and be felt and there was much more work to be done improved training for investigators and prosecutors must continue to evolve and must be sustained. the services must confront the problem of the junior litigators' handling of complex sexual assault case is far too early in their professional development. on helpful by aziz and attitudes are present among some investigators through the
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process of the culture change that i think has been already stated will be a permanent process as an apology of handling the military sexual assault or is a criticism of its efforts to read this in my experience working with the service is both very good and very bad things are still happening. this is the reality in an institution that is undergoing significant and meaningful change and i suspect it will be a reality for some years to come. it is impossible to average these good and bad things they're simply both truth. if the system their efforts and of the congress continues to provide clear eyed scrutiny and if congress provides the resources that the services need to sustain their efforts the military will lead the country in demonstrate what is to confront sexual violence honestly with a sustained commitment. >> thank you, sergeant.
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>> good afternoon, chairman, and thank you, members of the committee. i said before you today having experienced sexual assault for multiple pushback tavist but as a survivor of sexual assault when i was a young air man and a second as an enlisted troup whose entire career is as a master sergeant who has supervised 1500 enlisted troops as a maintenance crib superintendent of had a direct dealings with all the personal issues that come with supervising people in today's air force and i will be sharing that with you today on enlisted in the air force in 1975 and was assigned to a squadron at the air force base. at that time the women trainees were segregated from the men both physically and in our course curriculum. falcon basic training i attended
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technical training at the air force base in my integration into the air force. i believe my leaders would handle that and that didn't happen i knew then i would never report and other sexual assault a year later at my first assignment i was sexually assaulted again. i did report it, nor did i ever discuss either of the two incidences' until after i retired 28 years later and was being treated for ptsd. while many things have changed in the air force since i enlisted the trauma of the sexual assault has not changed. it feels like someone has reached into you and sought the sole right out of view it is dramatic and it is ugly and for those of us that have survived it, we do so because of our strength and will to overcome
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what could otherwise be a crippling episode in our lives. i remained in the air force proud of my service. the reason i served far outweighed any incident in my life. this was my choice. also served alongside the nation's finest in an air force were honor integrity and service before self are a way of life. they make everyone absolutely understand that we have no problem removing anybody in the blink of an eye if they cross the standard and maybe that is where the general and i somewhat disagree they are one of the most important people in the military to stop this of the doug. they demonstrate what happens when leadership fails to be the basic trend is where our sons and daughters are at their very
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vulnerable. the power that military training instructors where the key always have over the airmen is perceived as absolute. turning young airmen, young men and women from all over the country into airmen is a transformational process where they represent the sole success of the transformation. turning to female leaders is not always an answer. the yardstick for an effective leader has nothing to do with their gender. we're all men are free from harassment and threatening work place doing what is right is genderless. i follow closely the recommended action and the disgrace and discuss and have the privilege of talking to general woodward and i applaud her for her efforts in looking into these
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issues. i believe the following steps that are being taken will have a positive effect on the training environment. i agree we should increase the number of the females to get least a percentage that they are in the air force. all basic training students should be exposed to both male and female. after all who will be leading them? increasing instructor to student ratio is an absolute must. i was shocked to find out the student ratio was roughly the same as when i went to basic training 35 years ago. a reasonable student instructor ratio is education 101. i also agree with the requirement to raise the rank of the technical surgeons and master sergeants have a good deal of experience in deterring and identifying and taking action. however, a non-volunteering assignment didn't work for and
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won't work now to revive had troops that have reviewed the duty as the death knell for their career. that means to change in the next generation of leaders. incentives to attract the best of the best of the answer, not to them on voluntary duty assignments. additionally by do not believe women should be segregated. we fight as one team. segregation and training did more harm than good an attempt to integrate thus into the air force. we want to be viewed as airmen first and you cannot do that coming from a segregated unit to meet our own history with racial integration should tell us that. for larger solutions we need to look at integrating women completely into the armed forces. reena of the combat exclusion policy. then we will be fully integrated source being able to do the job should be the standard, not whether you are male or female.
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i believe that as leaders we've taken our eye off the ball. we enabled the climate or the troops became honorable and we can train and train with untended is about leadership. we draw the line on what is acceptable behavior to define and enforce it. i don't believe we can legislate the leadership but we can certainly have you told our leaders responsible and liable for the welfare of their troops that is an absolute must. in the maintenance career field where the leaders are passionate about doing what is right to protect the pilots while they fly, our leaders need to feel as passionate about protecting the troops as they do the flying mission. you cannot minimize the risk 20 but the leaders canny and better insure they are there to make three decisions and do the right things. our troops demand nothing less. thank you mr. chairman. >> devotees just about at an
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end. i have to reassess the committee at this time to get rid of the opportunity to vote. we will vote and it will be at least a half an hour. thank you. >> [inaudible conversations] >> we will call the meeting of the house armed services committee that order. thank you for your understanding as we've run across to cast our votes and i assure the members will be coming back shortly. at this time we would rick recognize the sergeant for her
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testimony. >> thank you for having me. i am jennifer norris. ayman air force veteran, wife to my husband, lee, national lab a ticket for the military rape crisis center and protect our defenders advocacy board member. protect our defenders is a place for survivors to build community come amplify our voices, support one another and take collective action. it is with a heavy heart that i appear here today by speak not for myself but the thousands of survivors whose lives are altered by this epidemic. a culture that punishes the victim in a broken justice system. i want to recognize the service members who have not survived deutsch to murder or suicide and their families who are still
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waiting for answers i've stood outside the stores with fellow veterans and survivors we've delivered a petition asking you to open an investigation into the scandal and its causes. there were 30 victims. now there are at least 59. since august the dod estimates roughly 10,000 more men and women in uniform have been assaulted. we hope this hearing is the start of fundamental reform to be removed by yes, a conflict of interest and opportunity for abuse of authority that precludes justice. we ask that this be the first in a series of hearings to fully explore the reasons this must be
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occurring and what must be done to prevent them. at the san antonio express put it, congressional killings will get the systemic failings that the trials cannot can't reinforce the concept of civilian oversight. both are needed. core issues must be addressed. the committee should hear from the current victims and from independent experts on issues of the victim treatment and the military justice system. the cycle of repeated scandals, self investigations and ineffective reforms must be broken. because no victims from the current scandal have been invited to testify i will share one of their stories from the
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local press. a young air force recruit who said her basic training instructor sexually assaulted her testified. after obey and the orders she was frightened to protest the advances in a dark supply room. the defense asked the woman if she resisted the advances. i was too scared to, she replied. sometimes when somebody's too scared to talk, does that mean they want to do something? a military judge found him not guilty of sexually assaulting a trainee allowing the instructor to face a maximum one-year prison sentence. her story is very similar to mine. when i joined, i was a
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24-year-old, a small-town girl with an idea like a childhood. soon i was raped and assaulted by superiors. two of the predators pled guilty to sexual assault. they were honorably discharged with full benefits. by not dealing with a culture that provides easy targets for predators, we are hurting our military and our society. the predators' often appear to be great troops, achieve high rank, are very charismatic and manipulative. but that is only part of the problem. the military justice system elevates an individual's discretion overruled law. too often the commanders go to a
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solution is to sweep the problem under the rug and kick the victim out. often legislative reforms are inconsistently applied, and necessarily incumbered or just not implemented. in my work as an advocate, it breaks my heart to see the same problems to david -- today that existed when i joined. 16 years ago. sorry. 39% of female victim's report the perpetrator was of higher rank, and 23% report it was
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someone in their chain of command. the air force at lackland report and previous reports indicate a failure of leadership. how many more times must the congress hear this before enacting fundamental reform. why didn't the air force interview the victims to determine if they tried to report of your reporting and why according to the dod data, 40% of that service members are afraid to report because of the reprisals that occurred. this isn't just an air force problem, it is surface wind. many secretaries of defense have
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declared a zero tolerance policy, yet recent actions challenge that notion. in september, the secretary proposed the president signed an executive order which would have even separated the military's rape shield. in 2011 the military argued that rape is incident to surface. had i known this, that the military dismisses rate has an occupational hazard, i would never have joined. according to the l.a. times in 1992 in response to the scandal, quote, several lawmakers proposed stripping the armed services of their role in the
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sexual molestation cases. the difference and the patience that congress has shown he has come at a great cost to our service members, our security and ultimately our society. brigadier general, a retired brigadier general recently said the only credible solution is an independent special victims unit completely outside of the unit chain of command under professional civilian oversight, and i agree. i ask you as our elected representatives, please, please don't let us wait. god bless our brave men and women in uniform to this but i
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want to thank all of you for your testimony of sergeant for your courage to be here today to tell us your story. certainly acts of sexual assault under any conditions are especially hammes but committed by those in position of power and under the code of authority, they are especially reprehensible and we certainly appreciate you taking the time to be here today. this question is to ms. mcnally and ms. norris. the dod and military services have taken a number of steps albeit maybe not enough to develop a sense and refine the respect of sexual assault response programs. as individuals who are regularly involved with providing care such as sexual assault, what do you consider to be the trade mark of a good response program? >> thank you.
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a big problem is understanding why we go on reported, and i could see that the generals are putting their arms around this very same thing trying to explain that. and i can tell you speaking for myself and for some of the victims that i supervised over the years they don't report it because number one, it's so traumatic and ugly, and they know that there will be public knowledge so the number one fear no matter how compassion and you are is that this will go out and how could i have let this happen to me? the man have the same response when they are sexually assaulted so the number one thing is something very personal, a quick, dramatic as we to be public knowledge. one of the biggest fears. the second thing is it is a he said she said, and unless you
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see evidence that the commanders have removed from the service with consequences anybody that enables an environment allows harassment to even start then you have no trust in your system, you have to see evidence. not the responses to endeavor crisis comes up in the sexual assault, and finally is you know, we have the he said and she said then what everyone likes to use the word accountability, and i think that is thrown around a lot. it means we've moved them to another assignment. it needs to be responsible and they need to be held liable cities are reasons that we don't support sexual assault. until they understand that, they cannot present a viable sexual response, sexual assault response program and any place whether it be in the air force or in college. that is a fundamental thing you should be out there talking to
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them, talking to your troops and commanders can't do this. >> anything to add? >> i've provided you with my personal testimony to give you a little bit of background so that we don't have to go into detail. unfortunately, the rape is very different on the predators that a salted meat. it occurred within the first two years of my career and for those of you that have served in the military, you recognize quickly that rank does come with privileges meaning when you are lower enlisted coming you are a bad guy or girl and you are new to the institution. so you haven't been able to establish the credibility
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necessary to make a claim against someone that's been there for 18 years and appears to be the best friend or the right hand man of the commander. you are stuck if you want a career you don't want to say anything because you get retaliated against. you get thrown out. you get beat up. and that's what we need to stop. we need to remove the chain of command from the reporting process. it's absolutely detrimental to us being able to report safely, and if you think about it, it's actually good for the perpetrator, too not that i stand up for them by any means, but a fair process would be fair process for both. so think about it.
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commander, a 18 year veteran active-duty guide just raped me and i know that he's your best friend and he's had your back this whole time. i know i just entered, but just wanted to let you know. it doesn't work that way. you are too scared to tell the commander because first of all, it's alleged in every case. very much of a trigger for me. second of all, others start to think that no, you've got to be careful around that girl because she might say that you sexually assaulted her. so you almost become a leper, and because of the small community within the squadron, the rumor mill starts flying. the victim doesn't want to talk about what happened.
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i didn't want to tell anybody about what happened to me aside from the commander because he was the only person i had to go to. i wanted it kept confidential. i was ashamed. i was embarrassed to the bike couldn't believe it happened and continued to happen and pushed me to the point that i was forced to report to prevent another rape. so, this small business where they are putting the commanders in charge, i'm not saying every commander is a bad man or a bad woman, you know, what i am saying is that to put that a decision making authority in one person's hands, that is a lot to ask of not only the commander, but also for the rest of us. you know, she decides one thing. i don't want it, what recourse
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do i have so if they decide they don't want to believe you? have fun with that. >> thank you. based on your you believe they are doing worse than the institutions when it comes to the prosecution and sexual assault cases? in your view what are the areas in the military's response to the sexual violence that meet the most attention and improvement? >> this is something that is impossible to average. there are several civilian jurisdictions that are doing quite good work in both investigating, prosecuting the sexual assaults but there are exceptions. by and large it is a pretty bad picture. likewise in the services, there are some good things that have started to happen in terms of
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training for investigators and the jag officers. it may be too soon. i did with army job officers and to hear them say that they have seen better reports that is encouraging and it's very anecdotal but if you start hearing that more and more, there would certainly be encouraging. about three months ago, i consulted on a court martial and it was an anomaly in that things worked really well. everything went well. everybody did their jobs really well. what i saw you that experience or is it possible but if you have officers and agents and the judge, the military judge well-trained to understand the issues this is a process that can be respectful to victims and
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respectful to the rights of the accused and can handle even the complexities of the assault well and there was a good outcome from my perspective there was a conviction and a good sentence. so it's possible. it's still obviously happening rarely. and i would hope that if the training that has begun is sustained that we will see more of that. i also hope that if you see more of that some of what has been described what see incremental changes in bill loveless trusten the system which would lead hopefully to more victims being able to report. >> thank you. >> thank you mr. chairman and all of you for being here. i'm sorry i missed a first part of the testimony. but sergeant norris, i
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appreciate what you said because in many ways you capture this dilemma that we are facing. if i may, mr. chairman, briefly because i had asked about what we were able to capture that was spoken to at lackland. we have spoken to many in the they were clear about what they felt should be some key recommendations and i just disappointed and i want to conclude this in the record that the response came out about them generally and i think that the new we were talking about whistle-blowers, and to our knowledge i think the people that were willing to come forward because it is in the
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issue of sort of seeing through the good guys and being able to say it's not all that it appears but many of the victims grapple with we're doing a better job of training prosecutors and we've had an opportunity to hear some of that evolution on the way that we do that but it's still a big problem. i wanted to ask because i must say i have been reluctant to take this out of the chain of command because everything else is in the chain of command and for us to pull this out in some ways says we don't believe the officers are capable of dealing with this issue, so i wanted to just come back and ask of the testimony that we have, and i often think that it's better to go with this kind of testimony
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and then follow up frankly what is it that you heard from was helpful but you think is moving forward well and what is problematic? because what we are interested here is what is the most effective and what will change the culture and change the ability of people to have any trust. so if you could respond to that there would be helpful. are you talking about when i was listening to general welch and general price? >> yes would you like to respond to that? senate i had a very difficult time listening to them today not only because of my own experience but also because of what's happening on this day. this morning i got a call from a client that is in the air force having issues with so despite what the general is saying,
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which could very likely be very genuine, and they really do care, they are basically putting their trust in each individual commander to do the right thing. and in my eyes, that means okay, commander coming your judge, jury and executioner, you make the decisions. and what is happening is as the commanders depending on who they are even as they are schooled in this it is hard for me to understand the whole thing, and i was a victim of it. so what we are finding is that the commanders are not always giving people the right information in addition to even dealing with it. so they are not saying okay. okay maybe we need to contact them and do something about
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this. they have the ability to stop it right there to read all the wood tickets for a commander to say this is alleged it is a he said she said. so the victims pretty much fall apart and decide i don't trust anybody and i am not doing anything with that. i miss the ball of fire and i fought on every single thing. they include male and female. we are equal. why is it that commanders in the military are given a special position that in society we have
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civilian courts, we have supreme court's, we have the ability to appeal, we have valvista for options available to us, but in the military we have one person that may or may not help you. >> from your experience as well looking at this beyond the military what is your sense of this? again in terms of pulling that out from the military accountability. >> on the military justice system this is purely for my own experience and anecdotally. it's a significant and it's a
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solution that has to be found. the services are clearly trying to solve it with training. i don't have a crystal ball. i don't know if in 25 years we can wait that long or if that will work or we will have another hearing like this. you know, and be looking for another solution. i wish i could because it is clear it's a major decision to make and would have all kinds of repercussions many of which we can't anticipate it would be harmful. yes, this is a very serious problem and described so perfectly that when you have -- we all want victims to come forward. if they don't come forward now only can we not provide them with the services but we can't go after those providers and yet
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we haven't earned their trust. how do you learn their trust when the command structure it is a very incestuous place and you are asking the victims to come forward with a tremendous amount of power so how we resolve that i don't know and i don't want to pretend that i do rather than curing this is a serious problem that we have to find a solution for. >> we have to look at changing the culture. we have sent out one of the things that we did was we had a command directed looking at inappropriate material in the workplace of restricted by the secretary of the air force. what we didn't say was the commanders ignored you. we found this much material than
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the generals and the commanders ignored you. if you have a good grasp of the culture the wire the blowing you off. i would have been down at the base. if after a month's notice she knew we were coming and we had to deal with inappropriate behavior, we are not taking action on the existing issue is that we have right now. >> thank you. >> mr. chairman, thank you. let me say to all of you i really apologize for the fact that so many of the members had to leave, many of them having to catch planes and the like but i would agree with the congressman that it would have been inappropriate to have you speak first so that it would have allowed for the general to recognize what we are talking about here more specifically. it to you, retired sergeant mcnally, you are absolutely
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right. there was an actual notice that went out in the air force. we are going to come through and see whether or not you got sexual harassing documentation in your cubicle on your computer, by the way not your laptop with the main server and after a month notice they collected 32,000, 32,000 inappropriate documents. he's not one of those that testify. jennifer come if you are here to stand up for a moment jessica was in error man. she was raped and reported the rape. in 2009. so this isn't an old case, this is a recent case. she was told that it was going to be investigated, it was going to go to court martial. two days before it was going to
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go to the court martial a new commander came into town and that commander had the authority to dismiss the prosecution and ordered the court martial to be abandoned for. that is what is wrong with the system. certain individuals have power that far exceed what it should be and if you can basically stopped a court-martial after all of that has taken place, and you don't have the kind of independence to look at these cases and that is what is frustrating to so many of us. thank you, jessica. dr. lisak, you talked earlier and spoke about your work with the military and it's been over ten years. i got the impression that you were basically saying that, you know, things are looking pretty good. and while, you know, this probably will work, it's better than it is and the civilian every night and so i but like for you to comment on that a little more specifically.
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>> sure. thank you. well, i'm sorry to give you the impression that things are looking pretty good. anything but. i was comparing the military performance to the performance in the civilian sector both the local district attorneys and universities in the similar populations and compared to the outcome of a military looks pretty good. it's not to comment about how things are in the civilian world i don't disagree with anything that's been said here in terms of the profound problems the services have. i do see the services making efforts that i don't see in the civilian world. and i see little bits and pieces of evidence that some of those are bearing fruit and that gives me some hope. >> let me ask you another question. you have done a lot of research and you have profiled sexual
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predators' if i'm not mistaken; is that correct? >> i do not use the word profile. ischemic but you have studied them and in the military. my understanding is that it's not unusual to have these individuals who will call sexual predators be exemplary and pnac beyond xm three soldiers, the soldiers that also are very good at identifying targets that are ripe for the prey is that correct? >> that's correct. >> one of the things that happens in the military is you can have as a mitigating factor the fact that you have good military character that is a mitigating factor so we can reduce even though this is a felony and this is a crime if you have been an exemplary soldier then we are going to reduce the sentence because we don't have sentence guidelines
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in the military so i would disagree with you on a lot of counts as compared to the civilian society where we do have the sentencing guidelines where there is a rape shield and where there is an appeals process and there is independence and of which exists in the military. but, knowing that, don't we have a greater obligation in the military to make sure that these individuals that prey on victims, trainees in this case over and over again get to get out, and taken out of the military, not to get out -- [laughter] >> well i certainly agree with you that the only solution -- if you have identified a predator and you have some kind of a judicial process that the research is very clear that there is very little to be done to rehabilitate the predators and that for the protection of
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the community whether it is the military or university or the civilian community, these individuals have to be isolated from the community basically. >> thank you. my time is expired. >> thank you, mr. chairman. so, dr. lisak the question i have is dealing with a situation having been part of an air crew and the tight knit military unit myself, i find that the unit members know the tendencies of individuals so that when this person is being accused it's not surprising. they may be of great of standing character and as we say in the army they are your high and tight soldiers and hard chargers but you know because the same situation that gets you into a situation when you are protected with one another and close-knit puts you in the role that you understand okay i've got to watch out for this guy.
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is their anything that has been changed by the rise of women into higher ranks? i was often the highest in my unit and it became my role to step in and other units as well and i was often the only officer. are you seeing some of those dynamics? i'm not saying there are not great officers who act the way they should but this does that change the dynamic to have more officers were trained? >> this is a very anecdotal response to that because it's my limited experience with the various services to the i think it helps, but i don't think it's something that can be relied on as a fix because the same sort of cultural dynamics that we have been talking about here all morning and into the afternoon apply to women as well and the
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pressures to conform and the pressures not to report, to be careful about who you say what to can apply to the women as well and silence them even when you are in authority in the service there is always somebody that has got more power switch is an improvement and it helps, but it's not the sort of fundamental fix. >> thank you would you like to add something? >> i would like to start by saying that oftentimes this issue gets turned into a male on female issue and it's very important to know that 56% of our victims are male. it is yet to be looked at and given the attention that it needs. i want that on the record today that this isn't just a female issue, this is a predator issue.
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and just to let you know, things are getting worse. in 2010 and 2011, commander actions on the ground dealing with sexual assault complaints have gone down 23%, down 23%. court-martial, 2010, 2011 down 22%. court-martial convictions same year, down 8%. the dod surveys find that 39% of perpetrators are higher rank, 23% or a lower chain of command so we are asking our people, our troops to turn to potential predators to report another
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according to these statistics. >> thank you. i didn't know you said 56% cracks [applause] that is good to know. so, my question to you then, you obviously are as you said a spitfire and willing to stand up. do you find many of your clients choosing to stay in once they are given the tools and? are any of them -- is there any way once they've gone through this process and if there is a resolution that can be reached is there any way to keep these amazing men and women that we have invested so much money into and effort into who then take this knowledge and help others as they go on in their career or are they so hurt that they want nothing to do with the military? >> that is a great question.
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on the paper of the sexual assault problems of the military are so pretty. they're beautiful. if the actually were implemented, that would be great. but they are not. and we see it to this day since the passage of the defence act in 2011 we have been dealing with implementation issues the entire time because of people just straight up ignoring it, not wanting to deal with that or just we don't have time for this. the issue is more important, be it. that is what we are seeing. the culture is getting more and more vicious. i don't know if it is because it becomes so popular with the congress now and that it's out in the media but it has been risen so in addition to getting raped, you are getting beaten, threatened then we have to fight with commanders on how to get
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this person off the base so they will not get prolonged ptsd. so no right now we are not going to be able to save them with a system we have in place right now. >> i'm out of time. i just want to thank the sergeant mcnally and norris. we need more like you. [applause] >> we want to thank you for taking time to be here this afternoon and for sharing you're very compelling story. and all the witnesses for providing your expertise to the panel. seeing no other questions, the meeting is adjourned. [inaudible conversations]
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